Just as more and more players are getting into Pokémon GO, and the hugely successful title is showing no signs of slowing down, Niantic is enforcing some strict rules. Going forward, cheaters will be banned for life.
Pokémon GO, in case you have somehow miraculously missed it, is a new game for smartphones that combines walking around in real life while collecting digital Pokémon inside of the game. The title has been hailed as the first popular application of augmented or mixed reality and has spurred the industry in this direction. The app is also responsible for artificially inflating and then deflating Nintendo’s stock.
But just as the app has grown in popularity, so has the number of people trying to cheat in game, by obfuscating their location or tricking their devices to think they’ve walked more than they actually have. But those practices now come with a real cost as Niantic has updated its terms of service, warning that anybody caught cheating will be banned for life. The new terms state:
Falsifying your location, using emulators, modified or unofficial software and/or accessing Pokémon GO clients or backends in an unauthorized manner including through the use of third party software.
As you can see from the statement, the game’s makers aren’t just cracking down on cheaters but also those that use third party apps. While that may lower the chance of someone managing mischief within the game, it also dashes any hope for those that relied on third party apps to bring the app to their platform. That category of players includes Windows 10 Mobile users who recently saw the third party apps PoGo-UWP and Find ‘Em All disappear. Niantic argued for the change by saying the wanted everyone to enjoy the game and be on equal footing:
We will continue to work with all of you to improve the quality of the gameplay, including ongoing optimization and fine tuning of our anti-cheat system.
Those banned for cheating will have a chance to tell their side of the story with an appeals system, though it’s not likely for Niantic to reverse its decisions.